A Night Of Serious Drinking One After Another

There's nothing quite so special as finding a record by a band that you've never heard of before that takes you completely by surprise. You expect nothing and you end up discovering some music that moves you in a way that hasn't happened in a long time. This trio of musicians from San Francisco have recorded an ambitious suite of nine songs that blends jazz and lounge influences into an intoxicating brew akin to the Tindersticks. The nine songs flow seamlessly into each other, resulting in a combination of feelings and emotions ranging from the torment of "Long" to the disdain of "Round And Down." Throw in a couple of covers (including one written by Scottish eccentric genius, Ivor Cutler) and you have an incredibly cohesive album. The most incredible thing about One After Another is that the basic tracks were recorded live in one take (with vocals and some additional instruments added later) - it's hard to believe because most bands who spend hours in the studio don't sound this accomplished. The album benefits from being listened to in one sitting and fortunately the whole thing is short enough for that not to be a problem. That way it remains a satisfying listen yet never outstays its welcome. One After Another is a small, understated gem of an album that ranks as one of the best things I've heard this year. (Triage)